Casey Goodson Jr.’s family and attorneys held a news conference Wednesday to release more information about the case and their next legal steps. You can watch the presser in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Casey Goodson Jr.’s family is making public a picture of what they believe proves the 23-year-old had no idea what was taking place at the time of his death.
It’s been 641 days since a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Goodson as he walked into his north Columbus home. It’s been 278 days since an indictment came down announcing the charges: Two counts of murder and once count of reckless homicide, against the now retired Deputy Jason Meade.
A coroner’s report released in February of last year confirmed six bullets struck Goodson from behind — five in his back and one in his buttocks. Meade’s attorney said Goodson waved a gun at his client and ignored orders to drop it.
For the first time, Goodson’s mother and her attorney are sharing this picture with NBC4.
“It’s a picture of bloody AirPods that were recovered from the scene of Casey’s murder,” said the family’s attorney, Sean Walton. “That evidence is important because the public needs to know how heinous this crime was.”
Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, said she first learned about the AirPods the evening of the shooting.
“Casey had been hunted and ambushed, he never seen or never heard his attacker coming,” she said.
The shooting happened near Ferris Road and Estates Place in north Columbus. That day, investigators told reporters a U.S. Marshal task force had gone to the area in search of a suspect that was not Goodson. However, they said Goodson drove past them and waved a gun.
NBC4 learned Meade followed Goodson and said the 23-year-old pointed a gun at him. The shooting happened as Goodson entered the house. Inside the house were several family members, including a 10-year-old, 5-year-old, 4-year-old, 3-year-old and Goodson’s grandmother.
“My grandson just got shot in the back when he come in the house, so I don’t know if he’s OK,” his grandmother had said to the 911 operator. “My grandson just got shot!”
Meade’s attorney spoke with NBC4 on Dec. 2, 2021 — the day his client turned himself in after an indictment was made public.
“He was maybe, at that point, 15 to 20 feet away screaming, ‘Show me your hands, show me your hands, show me your hands,'” said Meade’s attorney, Mark Collins. “At one point, Mr. Goodson’s left hand was trying to get into the door. At one point, his shoulders went down my client indicated. My client thought he was going to comply and then turn around and do that, but as he turned around, the gun was raised towards my client and pointed at my client giving him no other option.”
Pictures from the scene show Subway sandwiches Goodson had for his family. Collins stands by a previous statement that he released to NBC4, stating that at no time did Meade mistake a sandwich for a gun and that there has been confirmation that his client gave verbal commands for Goodson to drop the gun.
Collins has not shared details about the confirmation. Investigators said they did find a gun on Goodson, but wouldn’t say where they discovered it.
“We don’t have a picture of the gun with the body but we know is the AirPods were bloody,” said Walton.
Goodson did have a concealed carry license. His family said he wanted to be concealed carry weapons instructor.
“Jason Meade has said that, in his statement, said that he shouted a command at Casey and Casey ignored him so by his own admission, he was ignored because Casey had AirPods in his ear if there was a command that was yelled so it’s time the world know,” said Payne.
Payne feels many leaders who once said they supported her family have not helped in their quest for justice.
“How can you show up to his funeral and say that you’re here and that you stand with the family, but nobody’s standing with the family nobody’s doing what’s right by the family,” said Payne. “This is Mayor [Andrew] Ginther’s city. He has power in this city.
“You have a young 23-year-old Black man who did everything they asked him to you want to carry a gun, get a license he got a license you want to drive a truck, get a license he obeyed the law, he was a law abiding citizen, he did everything he was asked of him to do by the law,” Payne continued.
Kerry Charles spoke with Meade’s attorney about the AirPods. Collins sent NBC4 this statement:
The law requires us to analyze the use of deadly force under the reasonable police officer standard. To be precise and to quote the Supreme Court of the United States and its progeny cases, the consideration is not what this officer could have done, but rather, what a reasonable police officer in the officer’s shoes, could have believed about the situational need to use deadly force. As such, our analysis is confined to what was known to Jason Meade in the then existing circumstances.
Particularly, this standard focuses and analyzes what is known to the officer, in the totality of the circumstances, when it examines a suspect’s actions, compliance, or lack thereof. The law prohibits us from looking at an incident with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. What is to be analyzed is only what the officer knew at the time he made his or her decision to use deadly force.
After contacting Ginther on Tuesday, he provided this statement:
We continue to grieve the loss of Casey Goodson, and mourn with his mother. While nothing we do can erase his tragic death, we can take action to prevent the senseless loss of life in the future. Columbus Police were not responsible for Casey’s death, and the Sheriff’s deputy involved still awaits trial, but the City continues to press forward with meaningful reform – body worn cameras, independent investigations, civilian review of police, and more. We stand with Ms. Payne today, and will support her the best way we know how — through lasting change.
In a Wednesday press conference, Sean Walton, the attorney for the Goodson family, provided an update on the case and said the trial likely won’t take place until 2023 with an indefinite delay in place.
Walton also said the AirPods are evidence that Goodson Jr. was “ambushed and murdered.” “The same that Donovan Lewis wasn’t given a chance, Casey Goodson was not given a chance,” said Walton.
Lewis, 20, was shot and killed by CPD officer Ricky Anderson, a K9 officer, who fired less than one second after he opened the door to a bedroom Lewis was inside of while serving Lewis an arrest warrant.